Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has defended Mother Church so frequently I have designated him Defender of the Faith, passes along news that the Vatican has started a cricket team:
Some 500 years after England’s King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican is vowing to defeat the Church of England — not in the pews, but on the cricket pitch.
The Vatican has launched its own cricket club — a move aimed at forging ties with teams of other faiths.
Rome’s Capannelle Cricket Club is hosting training matches that will lead to the creation of the Vatican team, the St. Peter’s Cricket Club.
The Vatican already has its Clericus Cup soccer tournament, which pitches the Swiss Guards against seminarians. Now, its cricket team will sport the official colors of the tiny city-state, yellow and white, and players’ jackets will have the seal of the papacy, two crossed keys.
Talent won’t be a problem.
Sri Lankan Francis Jayarajah is president of Italy’s national cricket team. He says the latest Vatican initiative can count on up to 350 potential players — priests and seminarians from cricket-playing countries who live and study in Rome.
“Indians, Pakistanis, Australians, New Zealanders, during leisure time they play cricket in their small football grounds in various colleges,” Jayarajah says.
St. Peter’s CC hopes to play the Church of England (although I don’t know if the C of E has its own club) at the Yankee Stadium of cricket next September.
More immediately, Father O’Higgins says, the Vatican team has laid down its first challenge to the Church of England and has asked for a match at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, known as the home of the sport.
“That is going to be historic,” he says. “Who knows what can happen there, more than just a cricket match.”
The tentative date for a match pitting the Vatican against the Anglicans has been set for next September.
Although I don’t completely understand it, I actually enjoy the game. There was, and may still be, a league around here that I used to watch from time to time. Its players were mostly expats from cricket-passionate countries with the occasional oddball American thrown in. And I’ve passed many an hour playing a couple of Indian cricket apps that I downloaded some time back.
That said, the Vatican blew the name. They’re going to call it St. Peter’s Cricket Club? No, no, no. The Holy See should have gone with Vatican City Cardinals (get it?). They could have the word “Cardinals” across the front of their uniforms written in a distinctive, cursive script (this one, say) along with two cardinals perched on either end of a cricket bat. Perhaps something similar to this.
See what I did there?
Go here to Midwest Conservative Journal to read the comments I am afraid that like most Americans I am woefully ignorant of the game, although I assume that Don the Kiwi might be kind enough to explain cricket to us Yanks. Although sports leave me colder than a Congress Critter’s conscience, I do rather enjoy the idea of Vatican sports team. With more than a billion Catholics in the world what a pool of talent to draw on! I could imagine huge money being raised for charities of the Church through matches and hopefully the Gospel, along with good sportsmanship, being proclaimed.